WASHINGTON—A little-known provision of the 2011 federal budget compromise means that, beginning next Thursday, the federal Strategic Buzzword Council will no longer have funds to operate. Its budget fell victim to the Budget Control Act’s automatic reductions, known as sequestration, originally designed to force lawmakers into action to produce a better budgetary compromise.
Though Congress has intervened to save other agencies and has attempted to pass budget resolutions for many others, it has been curiously unwilling to save the Strategic Buzzword Council. Numerous letters to Congress sent by Senior Executive Buzzword Architect Lauren Syme have gone unanswered, and an online petition on MoveOn.org attracted only seven signatures.
“Until this year, the Strategic Buzzword Council has embodied successful self-actualization, proactively crafting enterprise buzzword best practices in synergy with industry partners,” said Syme in an interview. “Moving forward, however, severe fiscal challenges will constrain our capacity to fully leverage the transformative potential of proactive buzzwording, requiring forward-looking rightsizing and realignment.”
The Buzzword Council has had an outsized impact on Washington for such a small agency, with only sixteen full-time Change Agents. Anonymous Congressional sources acknowledge that it provides “key stakeholders and decision-makers with cutting-edge innovation in strategic language management,” but worry that a public show of support for the agency could result in a backlash from frustrated voters.
Others are glad the agency is shutting down. Representative Michelle Wormwood (R–Minnesota) believes that its buzzword production procedures, originally developed in the 1950s to support growth in American businesses, are not suited to today’s fast-moving high-tech world. Instead, she supports the agency’s role being taken up by private corporations, which can evolve more quickly.
“Utilizing terabyte-scale Big Data analytics technologies, holistic metrics and agile development methodologies, disruptive startup companies bootstrapped in a garage or tertiary educational institution residential housing complex can realign buzzword ecosystems in days or weeks, enabling improved, more efficient buzzword productization,” stated a statement released by Wormwood’s office.
The Buzzword Council has also been criticized by Democrats for its failure to deliver buzzwords to Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius to use in defense of the unreliable Healthcare.gov, leaving her defenseless before Congressional inquiries and forcing her to take the unusual step of apologizing for its failed launch.
The Council blamed the failure on a $375 million integrated buzzword workflow management system delivered by CGI Federal in July, designed to modernize its paper-based systems with a flexible needs-based real-time cross-platform cloud computing solution. A spokesman stated that it would “empower buzzword trendsetters to revolutionize emerging markets with disintermediated dynamic paradigms in data-driven buzzword production,” but that it “underperformed during key production milestone integration tests” and suffered a “spontaneous unplanned availability degradation” when employees first tried to use it.
CGI Federal project leader Eric Blair denied anonymous accusations that the project had been intentionally mismanaged, and referred all further inquiries to his spokesman, Bill Strunk, who did not return emails seeking comment.